feasting with friends

Spanakopita

Just a reminder…this post was pre-scheduled while I’m off on a short medical leave. While I’m unable to respond to any of your comments at this time, I look forward to reading your messages when I return. Thank You!

Do you remember me mentioning my friend, Ms L? She’s the dear friend who bestowed all of those lovely, retro cookbooks upon me. As a thank you for those cookbooks, I made her spinach pie, also known as Spanakopita.

spanakopitaWe see each other monthly and back in April she happened to mention that she had purchased spinach pie from her local grocer, at that it was quite disappointing. Flash forward to May, I receive the cookbooks…I HAD to make her some homemade spinach pie! ๐Ÿ™‚

spanakopitaI’ve only made spanakopita three or four times prior to this batch. I’ve learned that I prefer the individual size, which I fold into triangles. I haven’t changed my filling one iota from that first batch, and I have no intention to change it in the future. This was one of those recipes that I thoroughly researched, picked out favorites and made my own mish-mosh version from, at least, four different versions.

spanakopitaThe filling in these pies is a blend of spinach {duh!}, feta cheese, cottage cheese, pine nuts, onion and garlic. A dash or two of red pepper flakes along with lemon zest lift the flavors to just the right intensity. Initially, I was quite intimidated to work with phyllo. The first recipe I ever made with it was baklava, which I posted months and months ago, here. Having success with that, gave me the courage to tackle spanakopita, too. I’m so glad I stepped outside my comfort zone and gave it go, because now I can whip up two Greek classics in no time!

spanakopita

Spanakopita

  • Servings: 10
  • Time: 40mins
  • Difficulty: intermediate
  • Print

Ingredients:
10 ounces frozen chopped spinach, thawed, drained and squeezed dry
2 eggs
6 ounces cottage cheese
8 ounces feta cheese
1/4 cup toasted pine nuts
1/4 cup onion, small dice
1 clove garlic, minced
1 Tablespoon olive oil
zest of 1 lemon
red pepper flakes, to taste
salt & pepper, to taste
15 sheets of phyllo, cut in half lengthwise [thawed per package instructions], placed in 1 stack
1 stick butter, melted

Directions:

Preheat oven to 375ยบF. Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the onion, cook approximately 3-5 minutes, allowing them to “sweat”. Add the minced garlic, cook additional minute.

Add the toasted pine nuts and red pepper flakes if using, cook 1 more minute. Stir in the thawed and drained spinach, salt and pepper to taste. Stir well, breaking up the spinach and mixing it well with the onions. Remove from heat. Set aside and allow to cool a bit.

In a large bowl, lightly whisk the eggs. Add the cottage cheese, feta cheese and lemon zest. Stir well. Fold in the slightly cooled spinach mixture. Mix well. Set aside for assembly of the pies.

Place the cut and stacked sheets of phyllo on a clean work surface and cover with a damp paper towel. [Note: the key to working with phyllo is to keep it from drying out.]

Lay one piece of phyllo on your work surface [keep remaining sheets covered]. Brush the phyllo surface with the melted butter [I use a pastry brush]; top with another sheet of phyllo and brush with butter; top with 1 more sheet of phyllo again brushing with butter. You will now have 3 sheets with butter topping each.

Place a scant 1/4 cup of the filling in the corner of the phyllo, on the diagonal [see photos below]. Fold up the filled section, on an angle, brush with butter, fold again, butter again, and repeat until all of the phyllo in folded. [I end up folding the phyllo 5 times, with butter at each fold.] Place folded spinach pie on a baking sheet.

Repeat with remaining phyllo sheets and filling until all of it is used. Bake pies 10-12 minutes or until golden brown. They are delicious fresh out of the oven or at room temperature. Note: If I’m making these ahead of time, for guests, I’ll under bake them by a few minutes and pop them back in a hot oven for a few minutes right before serving.

nancyhttp://www.lupus.org/action/lupus-awareness-month

33 comments

  1. How crazy is that….I just had a spanakopita discussion this past Sunday with some friends. They were asking me if I’d ever made it, and I had to say no, I’ve never made it. Between them and now your recipe, Nancy…I have the inspiration to give it try! This looks so delicious! I can’t wait to try these, and deliver them to my friends! Thanks so much for sharing.. โค

    • Give it a go, Prudy! It’s fairly simple to make and ingredient wise it’s pretty adaptable to your favorite ingredients. One of my friends made me her version after my surgery…a different filling, yet absolutely delicious. The added bonus…it reheats perfectly in the oven!

  2. Those pies look so yum! I like them and made similar thing once before with a large pie shape to cut into, but individual portion triangles look more appetising. I’ll try this next time. Thank you for the recipe!

  3. I like the way you make this into individual pies; I make mine in a 9″x9″ glass dish. You’ve inspired me to make them as ours next time this is on my menu. The use of pine nuts is interesting; I have some on hand, so I’ll be making this soon! ๐Ÿ˜„

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